We could all use a little help sleeping better these days. From a pandemic to the economy and global instability, more people than ever have a mild case of anxiety that keeps them from sleeping well at night.
I know many people who use cannabis products to help relax and swear they couldn’t sleep without them. Let’s explore one cannabis product, CBN or CBN oil, and its sedative effects.
What is CBN?
CBN is a cannabinoid…just like THC or CBD.
Not to be confused with a terpene (which is also found in the cannabis plant) but is an essential oil.
Fun fact: There are over 200 cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis plant,
and scientists are just now able to study and classify them as cannabis consumption becomes mainstream. Learn more about terpenes here
Who knows what healing benefits we will discover from this amazing plant in the future?
CBD vs CBN
CBN is created by exposing THC to light (heat and oxygen). CBD, or Cannabidiol, is present in cannabis and hemp plants. CBN, therefore, can have psychoactive effects, like THC, although they are relatively minor in comparison. CBD generally has little more than traces of cannabis, and does not get you high.
Now that we understand a little more about CBN, let’s get back to the original question:
Does CBN Help You Sleep?
Many health and wellness groups promote CBN as a sedative. According to Sandland Sleep, which sells natural sleep aid products, CBN is the most sedative out of all the compounds in cannabis.
Many other companies have run studies on their products containing CBN that have had promising results. One study
found that people regularly using a CBN + CBD tincture found it easier to stay asleep, and slept 30 - 40 minutes longer
, on average.
Much of the research on cannabis products is relatively new and it is exciting how much we are learning all the time.
However, because CBN is recently discovered and new to the health scene, there is very little clinical evidence to support the claim that CBN does help with sleep. Most evidence is currently anecdotal, shared by people who have used CBN.
One blogger, Mercy Livingsto
n, describes her experience using a CBN sleep aid: “It turns out the small melatonin combined with CBN was a sweet spot for me: I felt a difference, though not dramatically, and most importantly, I woke up without a groggy hangover.”
Matt Oney of Zenmaster Wellness
reviews several different CBN products, and finds overall CBN was helpful for inducing sleep. Like many cannabis products, he explains that finding the right combination in your CBN product is important to how it impacts each individual. We all might have different reasons why we can’t sleep, and different products might address those better than others, depending on the “entourage affect”.
What is the entourage effect? This is when the many different compounds found in cannabis - terpenes, cannabinoids, THC - work together in unique ways to give you the best possible experience.
How Does CBN Work to Help Sleep?
Some researchers believe that the mild psychoactive effects of CBN can help reduce anxiety, allowing individuals to sleep better without actually inducing sleep.
have found that CBN works with the Endocannabinoid System in your body to help reduce psychological arousal. What is psychological arousal? That is your brain being too busy to settle down and let you sleep properly.
No doubt over time we will discover more about the science behind the benefits of CBN. For now, we’re relying on anecdotal evidence that suggests CBN does help people sleep better.
Is CBN Legal to Buy?
At the time of writing, CBN is treated like cannabis. Because it is derived from THC, it is considered a cannabis product. Therefore, you can currently only legally purchase CBN in states that have legalized recreational marijuana.
It is important you know local laws before making any purchases, as laws regarding cannabis consumption can vary from state to state, and can change.
Does CBN Get You High?
CBN is made from THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main active ingredient in cannabis and responsible for the psychoactive effects. Depending on how much THC remains in the CBN product, it can give some consumers a small high.
Dr. Elizabeth Ardillo, Director of Medical Education at Green Thumb Industries says, “If you’ve never consumed cannabis before or it’s been a while, you are more likely to feel a sense of euphoria.” She recommends starting with low doses of the product to determine how it affects you.